We were lucky enough to have several student interns join our team this summer and wanted to take a moment to highlight their hard work and accomplishments, as well as what they’ve learned about impact investing, global development, and the nonprofit space. They worked throughout GP in different departments, including development, green technology, and marketing and communications. We will miss having them around after they return to school this fall!
Morgan Babbs is a rising junior at Tufts University double majoring in economics and international relations with a focus on development economics. She joined GP’s Green Technology team as a field intern in Managua, Nicaragua, where she assisted a new GP partner, MiCrédito, in implementing its budding solar product lending program. Morgan is pictured with Denis Membreño, a MiCrédito credit officer and one of her colleagues over the summer.
Josh Ewing is entering his freshman year this fall at Washington State University, where he intends to major in civil engineering. He worked closely with Nathalia Rodríguez Vega, GP’s financial and economic analyst, and received training on how to build a Microsoft Access database before he helped start construction of a library of impact investing reports and materials for GP’s internal use.
Amelia Merritt attends New York University and is entering her junior year this fall. She is majoring in media, culture, and communications and minoring in both social entrepreneurship and French. As an intern for the marketing and communications team, Amelia aided in various projects, including the promotion of GP’s new website. Her main project consisted of researching various methods of analyzing social media metrics and developing a plan of action to optimize our social media channels.
Ella Van Cleve is a rising junior at The Northwest School in Seattle and interned with the marketing and communications team. Her main projects included helping with the launch of GP’s new website and composing social media posts. Ella also completed an in-depth research project on Google AdWords optimization. She subsequently implemented her findings into the structure of GP’s AdWords campaigns.
Helena Victor attends Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where she will soon begin her fourth semester as a math and economics double major; she also hopes to minor in anthropology. As the development intern this summer, the majority of Helena’s work focused on organizing GP’s fall events, including the Business of Hope Luncheon and the Escala celebration.
1. How did you hear about GP and why did you decide to intern here?
“I’ve been interested in global health/foreign aid for a long time. When I heard about Global Partnerships from a close friend a few years ago, I immediately took interest because I strongly believe that GP creates a ripple effect that produces lasting, impactful results. [I believe that…] through improving the economic situation of an individual, we can create a ripple effect that improves all aspects of his/her life, including health, education, etc.” – Helena
“A good friend of mine talked to me about someone he knew in Seattle […] that worked with various organizations in Latin America– this “someone” was Peter Bladin (VP of GP’s Green Technology Fund)! My main field of interest in development economics is access to financial resources, so I was drawn to GP’s mission from the start. Furthermore, this past semester I planned a social innovation symposium at Tufts, where I got my first exposure to impact investing, something I’ve been really into since then. Lastly, concerning microfinance institutions, I’ve always been drawn to the organizations that take the extra step to offer more than just credit– things like financial literacy courses, community development, or access to technologies– which is what GP focuses on with many of its partners.” – Morgan
“I was excited to apply to be an intern for Global Partnerships’ marketing and communications team after hearing about it through a family member. I wanted to be a part of the organization’s innovative work, pioneering a fresh, sustainable method of financial growth for families and individuals living in poverty in lieu of the traditional system of aid that has a high potential of relapse.” – Amelia
2. Please share one thing you learned during your internship about impact investing, global development, or a career in the nonprofit space.
“I learned that everyone in the nonprofit space works extremely hard, and it is a collaborative and team effort. The departments are smaller, so each member of each department has a lot of responsibilities and there must be communication between different departments for the organization to run smoothly.” – Ella
“Since I was working with the Green Tech fund and aiming to provide solar products through a microfinance institution (MFI) by partnering with solar tech companies in Managua, it was interesting to learn about the pros and cons of investing in an MFI versus a solar tech company to get maximum impact. Both present challenges, but investing in an MFI provides the benefit of a fully developed network of clients, a strong community influence and positive reputation, and an extremely well-trained, experienced, and knowledgeable staff keen on delivering excellent customer service.” – Morgan
“I learned through my internship that there is a big field for impact investing. I also learned that there are a lot of people with a lot of money are out there who are looking for sustainable ways of helping people living in poverty.” – Josh
3. How do you think what you learned and experienced at GP will apply to your future studies/career?
“Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn no longer conceal mystical algorithms or seemingly haphazard page displays; I have deeply researched the inner workings of these social media platforms as well as investigated several new sites such as Klout and Paper.li. This research project has grown my colloquial understanding of social media into a solid skill and expertise that I am able to offer to both nonprofit and for-profit companies.” – Amelia
“I feel that with the work I did building an internal library, I can now create a basic database that is user friendly for myself and others to keep things tidy.” – Josh
“I don’t think I could have asked for a better experience. The mix of tasks–spending tons of time in the field, meeting with tech suppliers, working with credit officers, developing microbusiness models, planning methods of product delivery, working with financial models… It gave me such a well rounded experience that will apply to any sort of development work I plan to do–it was excellent to get some pilot program implementation experience under my belt. Lastly, considering that access to financial resources is my main interest in development, it was great to see how the network for an MFI can be tapped into to provide even further resources for development.” – Morgan
4. What did you enjoy most about your internship?
“I loved the diversity of tasks. At the end of my internship I put together an info session for people interested in selling the small solar products. Two attendees signed up for a loan right then and there and they were given a consignment product to try out for a week. The cherry on top was that one of them was a man that I was sitting next to on my bus commute out to the field one day that I just happened to ask if he was interested in selling solar products. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you!” – Morgan
“I do my best work when I feel some responsibility for the projects on which I’m working, and [my projects at GP] really gave me something to be excited about!” – Helena
“I really enjoyed seeing the “behind the scenes” work of a nonprofit. In this day and age, social media can help make or break companies and organizations, and I loved being a part of the social media process.” – Ella
“Global Partnerships was truly invested in my professional growth, not just my completion of the work that was assigned. They had an immense interest in my mastery of specific skills that I had mentioned were of interest and they continually checked in and made sure I was benefiting as much as I possibly could from the internship.” – Amelia
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